Klarna to start charging late payment fees – we explain what you need to know

Klarna is the latest buy now, pay later provider to introduce late fees. We explain how the new fees will work and how to avoid them

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Klarna customers will have to pay a £5 fee if they miss payments from 16 March.

The buy now, pay later (BNPL) service lets you spread the cost of a purchase and is available as a payment option at many online retailers.

And until now, Klarna had been one of the only main BNPL providers to not charge any late payment fees - although late payments can be reported to credit agencies and ultimately affect your credit score. 

Other BNPL providers Clearpay and Laybuy already charge a late fee of £6.

The new change for Klarna customers comes shortly after the government consultation to bring buy now, pay later services into regulation went ahead - potential new rules will give borrowers certain rights and protections.

We explain how the new fees will work and how to avoid them.

How Klarna’s late payment fees will work

  • Klarna’s new late payment fees will be charged from 16 March.
  • A late payment fee will be up to £5. The standard fee will be £5 and will apply to orders of £20 or more. But you won't be charged more than 25% of your order value as a fee – so if you buy something for £5, the late fee will be capped at £1.25, for example.
  • Customers will have to pay the fee after a seven-day grace period. So if you miss a payment, you'll have a week to pay it before being charged a fee. And Klarna will send a minimum of four reminders before actually charging a fee.
  • You'll only be charged a maximum of two late fees for the same order - so if you miss several payments for an order then you can’t be charged more than £10.
  • No interest will be charged on missed payments.
  • If you do miss payments, you may have your access to Klarna reduced.
  • If payments continue to be missed over a period of several months, Klarna uses debt collection agencies to get in contact with customers who it can't get hold of.

How to avoid Klarna’s late payment fees

  • Keep on top of your payments - it’s the obvious answer.
  • Contact Klarna as soon as possible if you’re struggling pay. You can do so via its in-app online chat or by calling 0808 189 3333 to see what help it can offer. 
  • If you use the 'Pay later in 30 days' option or have a Klarna Financing agreement, turn on the Autopay toggle - it ensures you enter your bank details, create a direct debit mandate and pay on time.
  • Until 27 April, late fees will be waived for those who take a 'financial awareness' test in the Klarna app. The provider says this is a way of using the new fees to incentivise financial education.
Katie Binns

Katie is staff writer at The Money Edit. She was the former staff writer at The Times and The Sunday Times. Her experience includes writing about personal finance, culture, travel and interviews celebrities.  Her investigative work on financial abuse resulted in a number of mortgage prisoners being set free - and a nomination for the Best Personal Finance Story of the Year in the Headlinemoney awards 2021.